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Oswald’s Mother Says Accused JFK Killer was “Set Up”

Feb. 12, 1964 - Mrs. Marguerite Oswald (left), mother of Lee Harvey Oswald, said today in a rambling statement that she believed her son was a U.S. “intelligence agent” and that he was “set up to take the blame” for the assassination of President Kennedy. She made the assertion to newsmen as she finished three days of testimony before the Presidential commission investigating the assassination. She said she had told the same thing to the commission.

Chief Justice Earl Warren, commission chairman, said the 56-year-old mother had presented no evidence to support her assertion that Oswald was a CIA agent. He said she had said at various times that “she believes her son is innocent, that it is possible that he committed the crime, but that it is also possible that other people could have committed it.”

When asked by reporters for a statement, Mrs. Oswald moved readily to microphones set before cameras in the lobby of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Building on Capitol Hill, where the commission met. “I still believe my son, Lee Harvey Oswald, is innocent,” she began. She vowed she would “continue public appearances and an investigation” to clear her son “if it takes another year to do so.” The assassin, she contended, “is still at large.” “I realize that, as a human being, he [Oswald] could be guilty,” she said, but added that she had given the commission “evidence” that her son was innocent.

She said she and Mark Lane (right), the New York lawyer whom she has retained without fee to defend her son, had “investigators all over.” She also said she had received 1,500 letters with “information” on the assassination, including some from foreigners, and that she would not pass on “any tips” to the Warren commission. “Lee Harvey Oswald was not the killer of President Kennedy, and he was set up to take the blame,” she continued.

In most references to her son, Mrs. Oswald used the present tense, such as “I believe Lee is an intelligence agent.” “My son was a scrapgoat,” she said at one point. She apparently meant “scapegoat.”

“Who can prove he is not a CIA agent?” she said. “He isn’t going to say he’s a CIA agent, and the Government isn’t going to say he is. Lee being an agent, would not say so to anyone.”


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